1 Bedroom vs Studio Condo

5 Replies

Hello All!

I am looking to purchase a condo to live in then hopefully rent out after a few years. I am purchasing this condo in the pasadena area near the community college and cal tech. My question comes in two parts. First question is: are studios easier to rent out compared to 1 bedrooms? or is it vice versa? As I stated before I am planning on turning this condo into a rental unit one day so I would like to know which one rents out easier. Second Question: Between a studio and a condo, which one is easier to sell? Or is there no difference? I would like know incase I plan on to move on from it later down the line. I would hate to buy something that is hard to sell.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

I imagine 1 bedrooms will sell for more than studios, so you should take a look at the rental comps and see how much more the 1 bedroom rents for, and if it's worth the extra cost. You can find rental comps on Zillow, Craig's List, etc.

As a point of comparison, 1 bedroom condos rent for just a little less than 2 bedroom condos, but typically costs much less. So from a rental point of view, 1 bedroom condos are better buys than 2 bedrooms. But I haven't done similar analysis for studios since those are more rare.

The other thing to consider is the demographic you expect to rent to. For studios, I'm guessing it'll mostly be students. Cal Tech will attract many out-of-area students, but PCC is mostly a commuter school. For my 1 bedroom condos, the tenants are all young professionals and I think they are better candidates than students. At least you don't have to worry about turnover every summer or fall.

If your budget will allow, go with a 2 bedroom.  Much bigger pool of tenants.

Between 1 bedrooms and studios, my vote is a 1 bedroom. Tenants like their privacy. As someone who is house hacking by living in my studio ADU and renting out the main house, I would so much rather have a 1 bedroom. Keep in mind little things start to bother you like everything smelling when you cook, etc. Plus then no one has their privacy. If I'm thinking of these things, then so are tenants.

In general : I think most people will tell you to go after a 1 bedroom. 

You are slightly in a different situation bc of the area you are buying in! (which is a good thing) 

The area there, next to Cal tech is extremely desirable. Studios, 1 bedrooms and even single bedrooms rent out so fast... that it really doesn't matter. 

Now: if you have 2 properties : a studio and a condo for the same price and similar sq footage: then of course, go for the 1 bedroom or the 2 bedrooms. 

But chances of that happening are slim, so I assume that the studio is cheaper (in price) than the alternative. 

This will come down to your purchase power. What can you afford: and will you break even with a studio price at ($X) or a 1 bedroom priced at $x ? 

Most likely you will not break even : as most studios and 1 bedrooms in Pasadena : will be between $400k (for a small one) and higher. Together with HOA : and you my friend, will not cash flow... but will have a great property that will continue to appreciate!

If you get a 1 or 2 bedroom, you will probably be able to (for example) put a bunk bed in the bedroom and a bed in the living room: Caltech students will go for something like that (I've seen it first hand). 

If your purchase power is anything below $650k (a condo will be your best bet) in Pasadena. 

You could also explore further east on the 210 freeway and buy a single family home: but it all depends on your plans, goals, etc. 

Originally posted by @Sebastian Marroquin :

In general : I think most people will tell you to go after a 1 bedroom. 

You are slightly in a different situation bc of the area you are buying in! (which is a good thing) 

The area there, next to Cal tech is extremely desirable. Studios, 1 bedrooms and even single bedrooms rent out so fast... that it really doesn't matter. 

Now: if you have 2 properties : a studio and a condo for the same price and similar sq footage: then of course, go for the 1 bedroom or the 2 bedrooms. 

But chances of that happening are slim, so I assume that the studio is cheaper (in price) than the alternative. 

This will come down to your purchase power. What can you afford: and will you break even with a studio price at ($X) or a 1 bedroom priced at $x ? 

Most likely you will not break even : as most studios and 1 bedrooms in Pasadena : will be between $400k (for a small one) and higher. Together with HOA : and you my friend, will not cash flow... but will have a great property that will continue to appreciate!

If you get a 1 or 2 bedroom, you will probably be able to (for example) put a bunk bed in the bedroom and a bed in the living room: Caltech students will go for something like that (I've seen it first hand). 

If your purchase power is anything below $650k (a condo will be your best bet) in Pasadena. 

You could also explore further east on the 210 freeway and buy a single family home: but it all depends on your plans, goals, etc. 


Thank you Sebastian! I would love to connect with you to talk more about real estate in Pasadena!

 

1BR is going to be more valuable, desirable, and easier to rent but in terms of bang for your buck studio might make more sense @Marcelo Martinez . Similar to what @Sebastian Marroquin said, there are multiple factors, kind of depends on your budget, timeline, etc. Happy to brainstorm and be a sounding board.